Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

A Passion for Nature

In the New York Times, John Wilson reviews a new Muir biography, A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir, by Donald Worster.

The nature lover and conservationist John Muir is at once famous and indistinct in the minds of most people. Doubtless there are ardent souls who could give a credible account of his life, but not many — not even among those who share the passion that led Muir in 1867, at age 29, to embark on a thousand-mile walk from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico and drove him to continue rambling hither and yon throughout his long life. Muir is revered but remote. He needs a substantial biography to bring him into focus.

It is incorrect to suggest that this is the first Muir biography, but this does sound like an interesting book for those who want to know more about Muir that that which the Muir myth tells us – and I count myself in that group.

January 31, 2009 Posted by | Commentary, People | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Passion for Nature

A Car Story

Since my outdoor adventures involve a significant amount of travel, and since the price of gas and environmental concerns make it more and more necessary to think about the impacts of such travel, I thought I’d write something about the car we bought last year. Yes, a Prius. Continue reading

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Commentary, Environment, Equipment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Car Story

My Take on 'Sleeping Systems'

Having just read a post at the Mt. Whitney and Eastern Sierra Hiking Blog (see “On Backpacking…Sleep System“) I thought I’d add my two cents on this topic.

To my way of thinking, a backpacking “sleeping” system includes several components: sleeping bag, pad, ground sheet, shelter, clothing – and for some, a pillow.

Sleeping Bag – My current first-string sleeping bag is the Marmot Helium that I purchased a few years ago. This is a really fine sleeping bag with 800+ high-fill down, great design features, and a weight of around 2 pounds. The high-fill down decreases the weight and allows the bag to stuff smaller, taking up less space in a smaller pack. The version that I use has only a half zipper – this decreases the weight and cost a tiny bit and isn’t a significant drawback for me. The 15 degree rating is sufficient for me into the colder October season in the Sierra and is more than warm enough for typical summer conditions.

I have also used a lighter 30 degree bag, Continue reading

May 31, 2008 Posted by | Commentary, Equipment, Technique | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on My Take on 'Sleeping Systems'

   

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